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FLOEA  INDTCA.                                           175
extend west along the lower and outer Himalaya, but only one (which, is also a Ja-
panese species) is found in the middle and western parts of that chain, without ex-
tending to the eastward. In the mountains they are confined to the subtropical
and lower part of the temperate region, never rising above 7000 feet. On the
whole, Menispermacea are less intolerant of dryness than Anoqacea, several species
inhabiting the most arid parts of Hindostan, and even the Panjab and Sindh, whence
they stretch across the hot T?elt of Southern Asia, through Arabia and Egypt, to
The genera and species of Menispermacea were left in a very unsatisfactory state
by De Candolle, who, possessing no materials from which to study the Order in
detail, and finding it impossible to reconcile with one another the chaotic descrip-
tions of previous authors, tfas obliged to content himself with reproducing them as he
found them, at the same time urgently recommending the study of the Order to tro-
pical botanists. Considerable light was thrown on the structure of the fruit in a
paper by Mr. Colebrooke, published in the 'Transactions of the Linnean Society' in
1822; but, his knowledge of the Order being confined to the species indigenous in
Bengal, or cultivated in the Calcutta Botanic Gardens, he contented himself by esta-
blishing several new genera, all of which have been found sound.
For a long time little further progress was made in the study of the Order, though
isolated observations were contributed by A. St. Hilaire, Blame, A. Eichard, and
others. In the * Bijdragen,* Blume instituted.the genus dypea, which was afterwards;
discovered to be identical with Stephania of Loureiro. The first important step in
advance was made by Wight and Arnott, who in 1832 divided the Indian species
of the genus Cocculus into sections according to the nature of the embryo, and thus
laid the foundation for the more complete study of the Order by Micrs, who has
devoted much time and labour to the investigation of this very difficult family, and, by
making careful analyses of the flowers and fruit of all the species to which he could
. obtain access, has acquired a very complete knowledge of their structure, and has
therefore been able to impart a degree of precision to the ordinal characters and
those of the main groups, which they did not before possess.
It is much to be regretted that Mr. Miers has not made public his complete mo-
nograph of the Order, for which such ample materials are in his possession, but has
confined himself to publishing a very concise sketch of his views in Taylor's 'Annals/
and in Liadley's * Vegetable Kingdom.' We have thus been compelled to follow out
for ourselves the details of structure of the Indian species, guided, of course, by the
generally accurate indications contained in Mr. Miers' papers, and by the brief dia-
gnoses there to be found. It will be seen that the result of this study has been the
adoption of most of the great groups and subdivisions proposed by Mr. Miers. We
have, however, arrived at different conclusions regarding the limits of genera, the
number of which we think Mr. Miers has unnecessarily augmented, by placing too
great reliance upon characters derived from the shape and number of the petals and
stamens, and slight modifications of the putamen. Where his genera are founded
upon characters derived from the seed, it will be seen that we have invariably adopted
Mr. Miers' views as to the limits of species can. only be gathered from the notes
and remarks appended to his paper in Taylor's * Annals,* already referred to, the ex-
treme brevity of which often makes his meaning doubtrol. In several cases, how-
ever, to which we shall refer more particularly under their respective genera, we arc
satisfied that he regards as distinct, forms which arc either certainly not so, or are
so imperfectly known that'their distinctness cannot be confidently asserted. In such
cases we have not hesitated to dissent from his views, as we are deeply impressed
with the importance of avoiding the addition of imperfectly-defined species to our
Cocculus palmatu*. Wall. Cat. 4953! (Jateorhisa, Miers), from the east coast of
Africa, and Cocculiu texagymu, Wall. Cat. 4968! (ticculttt ovatyblw*, DC.), from
China, are not natives of British India. Cocculw J!avicmut Wall Cat. 4976, is a
species of Anuophyllvm (Tftracrypta, Gardner), Mr. Miers' genus 4ntita?is, of